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Mikel Arteta agrees with Gary Neville over problem which may derail Arsenal title bid

Mikel Arteta agrees with Gary Neville over problem which may derail Arsenal title bid

Mikel Arteta emphasized the need for Arsenal to improve their defensive performance following their concession of two goals against Sporting Lisbon during the game on Thursday.

This caution from Arteta comes after Gary Neville previously warned Arsenal about the potential impact of their tendency to concede weak goals on their chances of winning the title.

Despite a 2-2 draw in Portugal, which puts them in a favorable position for the second leg of the Europa League last-16 match, the way in which the goals were scored has left Arteta worried.


During an interview with BT Sport after the game, the Spanish coach expressed his frustration. “When you concede two poor goals like we did away from home in Europe, it’s very difficult to get a positive result.

“The game had different phases because we gave too many simple balls away in our own half and gave them the capacity to [exploit] transition moments, which they are good at.

“In other moments, we had total control of the game and we lost a little bit of threat today, especially with the four players we are missing in our frontline. [There were] Some positives because we showed a lot of resilience to get back in the game, but we need to defend our box much better and be better on Sunday [against Fulham ].”

Gary Neville drew attention to Arsenal’s habit of conceding weak goals last Sunday, following a tense match against Bournemouth. The Gunners initially fell behind by two goals before staging a comeback to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory, and maintain their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Despite their comeback win against Bournemouth, Gary Neville remains convinced that Arsenal must improve their defensive performance to stay ahead of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. In his opinion, the Gunners cannot afford to continue conceding weak goals if they hope to maintain their lead over their title rivals.

Speaking on The Gary Neville podcast, he said: “I thought City had a more difficult game [against Newcastle ]. They were more likely to drop points in my mind, if anybody – I didn’t think either team would, to be fair.

“So, City did their job and then you expect Arsenal to go and comfortably win. The fact that they’ve won in that way gives them that extra spirit and extra momentum, because it is a game you’d expect them to win 2-0 or 3-0 just because Bournemouth are second from bottom.

“But they made it really difficult for themselves. They’ve got a real momentum, they’ve got a spirit building, the fans are with them. I would say to them they’ve got to stop conceding goals.

“It sounds like a really simple thing to say but when you concede goals on a run-in, it’s really tough and they’ve conceded two against Bournemouth, they’ve conceded against Brentford, they’ve conceded against [Manchester] United, [Aston] Villa, City. They’ve conceded quite a few goals – I think 11 in the last eight games. So, they just need to manage that a little bit because they’ve got 12 games to go now. City still aren’t playing at their fluent best. We’ve got a hell of a title race.”

On Sunday, Arsenal will play an away match against Fulham in the Premier League, while Manchester City will face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park one day prior.

Mikel Arteta agrees with Gary Neville over problem which may derail Arsenal title bid


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